Alternative PPC System?


macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
Over the years, there's been much talk about the rebirth of the Amiga OS. There was the whole Gateway sidetrack... but it seems a new Amiga OS system might come into being...

A company named Merlancia is releasing these Amiga OS based systems (slated for Nov 2001). What's interesting is that they plan on providing support for multiple OS's:

Working together on the iFusion project will allow us to migrate iFusion to our systems easily, allowing full Macintosh compatibility on our products, both under AmigaOS and stand-alone (later). We are also planning on offering other OS solutions as separate packages including QNX, Linux, Solaris, BeOS (hopefully), and others. We cannot provide MacOS ourselves, but the user will have the option of installing it, and we will also be working on an x86 emulator so that if the user desires he/she can use x86 operating systems including UNiX, Linux-x86, BeOs-x86, and (gasp!) even MS Windows (though we won't support it directly).

Concept photos can be seen here. The machines are not priced very differently than Apple's machines. Mac OS support seems unlikely, and technically difficult... but it's an interesting area to keep an eye on.


a press release for a 1970s style k/b and complete with shpellin mishtakes? "Page A - Merlancia Tsunami, TouchSmart Keybaord, MyszaTouch Mouse, and LCD Display. Setup Concept. "


macrumors 6502a
Apr 26, 2001

Does this mean apple will have a good competitor when it comes to the ppc?


macrumors 68020
May 9, 2001

80's strike back! that keyboard looks like form Space 1999. I'm sure the system is gonna have a good reception even I'm an Atari ST person.
Maybe Apple It's gonna take seriously audio and video production once for all, in place of developing fancy enclosures.



talk about beating a dead horse.

why don't these amiga losers just let it die.

geez even windows is better than that dead POS


sure VIDEO houses all over the world can't wait to dump final cut and dvd studio pro to run the amiga os



macrumors newbie
Jul 8, 2001
There have been so many better "concept" Amigae than that. Are they kidding with that thing? Who wants a membrane keyboard in this day and age?

For real though, if the Amiga made a "real" comeback, I'd get another one. OS X isn't looking like it's gonna be the be all-end all OS I was hoping for. I'd definately give the Amiga OS another go - even if only for evaluation.

Hey blakespot, did you just get that 1200 new?

To anybody that thinks Macs are expensive, price out a decent PPC Amiga system! Shee-it! Ouch!


Jun 4, 2000
Alexandria, VA
Yea, I did get the A1200 new. Got it about 9 months ago. I bought a Elbox tower case to put it in (new), a Blizzard 1260 (68060 @ 50MHz accelerator) w/ 24MB RAM, and the Blizzard SCSI daughterboard (all new). Added a 1GB drive and a 12x CD-ROM to it. Also added a new low-end 17" screen. I mainly watch demos on the unit--still lots of good stuff coming for the Amiga.

I will eventually add a PCI busboard so I can throw in my 3Com ethernet board and get this thing on my home LAN, as well as adding a cheap PCI video board to get some high-res, accelerated video out of AmigaDOS 3.9. Nice little machine.



macrumors member
May 1, 2001
Former Amiga addict..

I was an Amigaphile long before a Mac user, and I loved Amiga, but at this point, reality check here, to try to reinvent Amiga at this stage in the game is a catastrophically losing business proposition. Sure, the Amiga was a video powerhouse in its time, sure it was far advance when it was introduced. The mystique remains, but it was long ago passed up in terms of hardware, and has a large hole in development of serious applications for it with over 7 years of having no hardware R&D, playing musical parent company between at least three different companies (including Gateway), no new systems being built, and even worse, no major application development... It will be a cold day in hell when they can convince developers to port PhotoShop, Maya, MS Office, or any other real apps to a system over 7 years truthfully dead!

In fact, the company most responsible for its video and graphics edge in the early days, NewTek, with their LightWave, DigiView, and Video Toaster products now completely avoids even one mention of the Amiga on their website like it's some kind of skeleton in the closet. You can't even order their old Amiga products from them! Pretty sad..

I *love* what the Amiag was, an innovator, totally years ahead of Mac, Dos, Windows etc in terms of both hardware integration and OS stability and multitasking, but after years have passed, it is now far outmoded at this point, and has nothing substantially new to offer. Having heavily reviewed their Amiga DE , One, and AmigaOS 4 info sites for the last month, it strikes me that not one thing in the OS specifications or features is really any better than OS X or Linux, and there are no pioneering hardware advances (impossible now, since the new owners of Amiga tech have completely abandoned the effective computer system fascist design philosophy which cohesively married hardware to operating system and have gone the way of Windows by trying to play Democracy in computing with mix and match 3rd rate reseller bin parts). Now to compensate for no new hardware development, it's operating system is going to be parted out to every low-spec PC system that wants it. Innovation?

Not to bore those who weren't Amigaphiles, but if there was to be a serious revival of the faithful old Amiga and its culture, the plans of old to revamp Amiga hardware (not to escape to PC hardware etc) to include major advances in a highly integrated natively multiprocessing system should have been restimulated. AGA was a right step for Amiga graphics, it was a major improvement which caught it up with PCs at that time. Their plans for AAA with a PCI bus would have totally clobbered the PC and Mac at that time and would still in fact be competitive, but Commodore never put enough into advertising or R&D, and their entire marketing strategy was non existent, so they went under, and I suspect its best not to dig them up again except in memory lane.



macrumors newbie
Apr 23, 2001
Emo, Ontario
You have GOT to be kidding if you believe this

Does anyone remember the COS, circa 1997? Puh-leeze...this is vaporware to the extreme...


Not vapour

I am afraid this is not vapour ware ..

At the same time Eyetech ( and BPlan ( are developing AmigaOne compatible solutions.

The whole concept of the new Amiga is so far beyond anything you could possibly imagine. Wait and see. You WILL be amazed.

A Mac-owning Amiga developer :)


macrumors newbie
Jul 30, 2001
rs/6000 and the briQ

While they can't current run MacOS X or Darwin, both the IBM RS/6000 machines and the briQ ( are potential candidates for running Darwin. The reason I say Darwin as opposed to MacOS X, is that while Darwin will probably be made to run on all known PPC machines, Apple will probably add code to MacOS X to prevent it running on non-Apple branded machines - it can be done and has been done before.



>Apple will probably add code to MacOS X to prevent it running on non-Apple branded machines

While this is possible, I doubt apple would do that; since it would be easy to bypass with a few patches to darwin which could be circulated among the underground; rather, apple would probably put a clause in the licence to the effect that os x cannot be installed on non-apple hardware (if such a clause is not already there). This would prevent clones without discouraging non-consumerite haxors/geeks/nerds from installing os x and/or darwin.

In any case these machines would make absolutely kick-ass netbsd/openbsd/linux boxes; linux (i think linuxppc was the distro mentioned) already boots and works like a charm apparently. The Merlancia boxes appear (simply put) to be PCs but with a PPC mobo and processor(s), leading to greater reach of the powerpc, with such commodity gear.

I think this is a great idea -- if i could buy maybe just a board and a processor (no... two! two! yes baby!! and maybe merlancia's kickass looking, presumably atx case) over the web (for convenience, say), i would definitely buy buy buy. Even if it was conspired such that darwin didn't run porting it would be a fun exercise ;) and in any case netbsd/obsd/linux on it would make a great daytoday workstation for everyday needs (and then some... bring on the 2x proc!) The n/obsd/linux PPC developers would jump out of their skin to have something like this. I hope these boxes make it to market and keep going strong, implementing DDR and other hightech as time passes; i sure hope it doesn't fizzle and die like POP did.


macrumors newbie
Aug 5, 2001
Let it die?

I find the above comment about letting the Amiga just die as really funny.

On a MAC forum? I used an Amiga for years, it was my first computer, since then I have owned PCs, and now just Macs exclusivley for 3 years, but saying everyone shouldnt pay attention and let the Amiga legacy die is EXACTLY what windows users were telling Mac addicts 4 years ago when it looked like Apple was doomed.

I have been checking up frequently Amiga's website, and even though there real intentions of the Amiga revival are hazey, I have no doubt that if they pulled it off right, they could make an impact.

The Amiga and its OS were doing things in the early 90s that the PC world took years to catch up on. If they bring out a truly innovative technology they may well catch peoples imagination like they did 15 years ago.


Jun 4, 2000
Alexandria, VA
Early 90's?? The Amiga had a Unix-like OS w/ a GUI and true preemptive multitasking in '85. I purchased the first Amiga 1000 sold in Virginia, BTW, Oct. '85.

It just is insane that when the $1,200 Amiga was released in '85, it had a 7.16MHz 68000 (16/32-bit)--quite good for the day. The current PC at the time was the IBM PC AT which had a 6MHz 80286 (16-bit). FAR less powerful than the Amiga--and there was nothing but DOS to run on that PC.

I remeber reading an article in Personal Computing or something that was proposing that the Amiga might be a good alternative to an XT (4.77MHz 8088 (8-bit)), but certainly not an AT. I guess it was the climate of the times. If you look, now, at the hardware alone, there's not even a remote comparison between the AT and the Amiga 1000. Then look at the OS--even more of an advantage on the Amiga's side. It's sort of mind-boggling how innovative and ahead of its time the Amiga 1000 was. I don't believe MultiFinder had come out on the Mac yet--the Amgia could run _circles_ around any Mac at the time, it's OS and hardware was so much more advanced.

However cloudy Amiga's current efforts are, one can never deny that it was a machine of staggering innovation for its time. (I've still got two of them here on my desk--the more recent one a towerd A1200 w/ 68060 @ 50MHz, capable of accepting PCI cards!)